As a new school year begins, we could consider how we will learn more about our wonderful faith this year. At the Cathedral of St. Joseph, there are multiple opportunities to grow our faith while fostering friendships with other adults.
“I am a cradle Catholic, but reading more about my faith really has shown me how I can live it each day,” says Julie Gramlich, Director of Religious Education. “We get so busy with our lives and raising our children, so it can be hard to find time, but reading and discussing with others has taken me to a more mature level of understanding and relationship with Jesus and His mother.”
Throughout the liturgical year, adult faith community members engage in focused book study groups that offer text and conversation-based opportunities to develop our relationship with Jesus and with each other. Parishioners have used different books and programs through FORMED and the Augustine Institute among others.
“Each liturgical year, we give books on certain topics to parishioners around Advent and Christmas and also during Lent and Easter,” Julie says. “Frequently book groups form as a follow-up and extension to that.”
There are several new and longstanding book study groups focused on Marian devotions through Hearts Afire from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. Hearts Afire offers small-group, parish-based programs such as 33 Days to Morning Glory, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, and 33 Days to Merciful Love. Julie participates in a Morning Glory group that meets every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
“These consecration groups have really taken off with our female parishioners, and we just had our first men’s group complete the consecration,” Julie says. “This year, a couple of young teachers have become leaders, and many participants are in their 30s and 40s. We advertise the groups in the bulletin, social media, and on the website for anyone who is interested.”
Another book study group meets on Saturday mornings each week to discuss the Gospel, and several parishioners have expressed interest in forming new Bible study groups.
“We are looking for parishioners to take the lead on starting Bible study groups,” Julie says. “We did a survey with parishioners last fall, and several mentioned high interest in Bible studies. You’re not alone! Now it is a matter of gathering together and figuring out how to begin.”
Book study groups bring us closer to God and each other so that we are not alone in our faith journeys. Consider trying a group this year or even offering to start a new Bible study group.
“In these groups, you develop relationships with parishioners, and they become friends and family and help you through your life struggles,” Julie says. “You realize you have the same morals and values. Personally, I don’t know where I would be without this group.”
For more information about the book study groups at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, reach out to Julie Gramlich at 573-635-7991 or email@example.com.